Italy’s Alberto Bettiol picked up his first ever professional victory when claiming the infamous Tour of Flanders in Belgium on Sunday.
The 25-year-old was not among the favourites to win the 267km one-day cobbled classic, but showed amazing resilience to hold off the chasing packing when attacking with 18km still to go.
The Italian kicked clear on the penultimate climb of the Oude Kwaremont and with the chasing group refusing to work together to close him down, he managed to hold his advantage and take the win. “My first victory, I just don’t believe it,” he said after the win. “I was feeling really good, my team said, ‘If you can, just go,’ so I closed my eyes and I just went.
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“I looked round at the top and I had a really good gap so the team told me to just keep pushing – the last 14km was the longest of my life.” Denmark’s Kasper Asgreen attacked late and finished 14 seconds behind Bettiol, while former winner Alexander Kristoff of Norway won the sprint for third.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day fellow Italian, Marta Bastianelli won the women’s race in a sprint finish.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.